On Tuesday, the Canadian government’s official statistical agency released its latest figures for hate crimes in the country, covering the calendar year of 2015. As in the United States, where Jews annually top the FBI’s tally of religiously-motivated hate crimes, anti-Semitism—and Islamophobia—plays a prominent role in the new Canadian report. According to the government agency’s release:
Overall, police reported 469 Criminal Code incidents in 2015 that were motivated by hatred of a religion, 40 more incidents than the previous year. These accounted for 35% of hate-motivated crimes reported in 2015.
Police-reported hate crimes targeting the Muslim population increased from 99 incidents in 2014 to 159 incidents in 2015, an increase of 61%. At the same time, the number of police-reported crimes targeting the Jewish population declined from 213 in 2014 to 178 in 2015. Hate crimes targeting the Jewish population accounted for 13% of all hate crimes, followed closely by hate crimes targeting the Muslim population (12%).
Notably, Muslims make up approximately 3 percent of the Canadian population, while Jews make up just 1 percent, but both receive vastly disproportionate amounts of abuse.
These numbers are a reminder that while anti-Semitism is thankfully far rarer in North America than places like Europe and the Middle East, it is far from dormant. Despite comprising only tiny percentages of their local population, Jews are consistently a top target for hate crimes. The situation is nowhere near as dire as somewhere like France—where Jews were the victims of 51 percent of racist attacks in 2014, many of them violent, despite representing less than 1 percent of the population. But it undoubtedly demands constant vigilance to ensure that this remains the case.